Consideration 4: Local Weather

What are the most important types of weather to think about when you’re trying to understand home foundation design? Always note these weather conditions.

Weather is a hugely important thing to keep in mind. In fact, while it’s rarely included among foundation design considerations, it’s one of the most crucial factors to consider because it can have a significant impact.

What are the most important types of weather to think about when you’re trying to understand home foundation design? Always note these weather conditions. 

  • Rain and Drought

Soil expands when introduced to rain and shrinks when it dries. That’s natural, and it’s something you’re not going to be able to avoid altogether. What you can do, however, is prepare for it.

You need to consider whether, for example, the soil a home sits on is especially expansive soil, meaning it expands more than other soils when introduced to rain. If it is, you’ll need to introduce additional security measures to avoid home settling when it dries out.

Home settling will happen to pretty much every home to some extent, but it’s your job to make sure it doesn’t happen too much. That’s why you need to think about it.

  • Potential for Flooding

This is both a natural and an infrastructure question. It’s up to you to make sure you build a structure with a sufficient drainage system, but you also need to take into account the area’s natural tendency to flood and the existing infrastructure in the area.

When an area floods, you’ll end up with substantially more hydrostatic pressure built up around the home’s crawl space or basement, and potentially even around important parts of the home’s main structure.

Take into account past flooding incidents and experts’ suggestions regarding future flooding incidents. Additionally, always make sure you incorporate the most up-to-date foundation design considerations regarding drainage systems. 

  • Water Table

The water table is an important part of understanding how you’re going to best craft a drainage system that works for the home you’re designing. That’s because the water table, which represents the area where groundwater will naturally saturate an area, can change throughout the seasons.

For example, if you’re going to build a home on soil, you need to make sure it’s above the water table at all times. Otherwise, if the water table rises during the winter, you may find that the home ends up being flooded or nearly flooded.

This is something you need to take care of when you’re first surveying the site. If you don’t do your due diligence in surveying the site, you may end up with serious drainage problems that’ll happen for the rest of the time the home exists.

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